Learning about distributed computing is like having the scales fall from your eyes.
We use our computers much less than we actually think. We go to meetings, have lunch, take phone calls, grab a cup of coffee, talk with someone in the hall. Those minutes add up to a big chunk of time every day.
A program called the World Community Gridcan use that time when your computer is not in use to help change the world. Scientists need computing power to run millions of simulations, calculations and other exercises. A small program you can download in several minutes and install on your computer “loans” your computer to those scientists.
Take a look at some of the projects you can help with simply by installing this program.
Distributed Computing Projects at WC Grid
- Help Conquer Cancer and Help Fight Childhood Cancer
- Computing for Clean Water
- Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy — Phase 2!
- Clean Energy
- Discovering Dengue Drugs
That’s just a sample of the work your computer can do the next time you’re in a meeting. You can choose some or all or even just one of the projects. The organizational partners include IBM, UC Berkley and the National Science Foundation.
Your takeaway as a small business leader is that your unused computer cycles can be used to change our world. Even small businesses like ours help. At Silver Beacon, the program runs on 6 different computers. Our two year anniversary in the program is in a few days. During that time, we’ve given 2.3 years of computing time to these science projects.
Imagine that—just over one day of free computing time for these projects for every day of elapsed time. Estimates vary, but a nice round number is that there are maybe 30 million small businesses in the US. Imagine what would happen if only 1% participated at this level and donated 300,000 days of annual computer time.
Imagine how the world would change with 821 extra hours of computer time given to the scientists working to improve our health and our environment. Sometimes science produces Tang. Sometimes science produce a polio vaccine.